Give your home a fresh face with these repurposing tips

Spruce up your space the right way by following these tips from The Old Lucketts Store’s master painter and workshop leader, Amy Riedel.

Inside the studio at The Old Lucketts Store. // Photo courtesy of The Old Lucketts Store

Amy Riedel is the master painter at Leesburg’s Old Lucketts Store, called more comically “The Chief of all that is paint” by her colleagues. Riedel, who creates freelance projects on the side, has a studio situated in the back of the shop from which she can answer customers’ questions about their own DIY projects.

Additionally, a few times throughout the month, Riedel’s workspace transforms into a classroom where she and her co-teacher Jenn Garner lead workshops aimed at helping locals learn an assortment of repurposing-related skills. On Jan. 21, Riedel will host a new oxidized metals workshop, followed by a cabinet painting class on Feb. 17 and a furniture painting with antique finishing class on Feb. 25.

“In this [oxidized metals] class we will be using The Amy Howard At Home® Zinc Antiquing Solution™, which enables you to give metal the look of aged zinc,” Riedel explained. “[We use] the Antiquing Solution to oxidize and age the metals, and then we apply Amy Howard at Home® Light Wax to buff and seal. This is a perfect way to create a fun backsplash or a piece of art for your home.”

For those looking to tackle their own home decor transformations, we sat down with Riedel to discuss potential projects and frequently asked questions.

Photo courtesy of The Old Lucketts Store

Repainting kitchen cabinets

Lighter colors (cream, taupe, gray, white) will make a room appear much larger. Be sure to take all doors and hardware off before painting and label which hardware sets go with which door for symmetrical assembly when finished.

“When painting kitchen cabinets, the lifespan depends primarily on your sealing or top-coat over paint,” Riedel said. “There are a variety of options, from a matte finish to a high-gloss finish. We teach how to correctly paint, glaze and seal cabinets in our kitchen cabinet workshop.”

Switch out hardware

Changing knobs and pulls on cabinets or other pieces of furniture is a quick way to change the look of the piece.

Repaint tables, china hutches or chairs

Making these smaller changes can affect the entire space. Use a natural bristle brush for waxes or pigment paint and opt for higher quality, natural bristle brushes and foam brushes to avoid damaging your piece. Don’t spend more than $12 on a synthetic brush.

Create a gallery wall

Doing so can add depth to a space. Making a frame wall is a great way to practice different painting techniques. Achieve a distressed look by sanding over your paint job. Use a fine grit sandpaper (320 or 400) to avoid taking wood off the piece.

Paint light fixtures

Adding an antique finish to chandeliers or other hanging lights can pull a room together. Before you begin painting, clean the surface and use mineral oil or a degreasing agent to remove oils and grease.

Additional advice

Riedel recommends using a synthetic brush when using chalk paints, which typically require an extra coat. Fun fact: Riedel uses four paint brushes per project to ensure she is getting full coverage. She also recommends using a sanding sponge/block to have greater control over sanding, especially around the edges.

People often ask Riedel if they need to strip their furniture before they paint it, to which Riedel responds, “No, with Amy Howard One-Step paint, the only prep work that needs to be done is a thorough cleaning with a digreasing agent … [like] mineral spirits or Simple Green. Amy Howard has a product called ‘Clean Slate’ that works well and we carry that product [at the Old Lucketts Store].”

And, as always, slow and steady wins the race.